Determining Proper Hose Length: A Calculation Guide

By: Frank Caprio | On: July 27, 2017

Proper hose length is an overlooked, but absolutely critical factor in industrial applications. We are proud to introduce our latest hose assembly design tool: the Hose Assembly Length Calculation Guide. This guide is intended to assist the user in calculating the proper length of a corrugated hose assembly when installed in any of the typical configurations found in industry today: angular bends, lateral offsets, and various traveling loops. The guide incorporates the formulas that are approved by NAHAD’s Hose Safety Institute, which are internationally recognized as the safest, most consistent method to determine proper assembly length. Each example is broken down to give the reader a step-by-step breakdown on how to use the formulas as well as where to find the dimensions and data required for input into the formulas.

Determining the optimal hose length of an assembly is critical to the proper performance of the assembly in service. Too often, the cycle life of an assembly is compromised by using the incorrect length. If a hose is too short, it may encounter excessive end pull as it is “stretched” between two connecting points. Conversely, an assembly that is too long may experience overbending as it tries to move out of its own way. To remedy this problem, our industry has developed formulas that can be used to calculate the optimal hose length for several standard installations. Please note that not all manufacturers use these NAHAD-approved formulas; instead, some use alternate formulas that do not reflect real-life hose installations and movements, in an attempt to make their products appear more flexible. Using the formulas in our Hose Assembly Length Calculation Guide ensures that the assembly has sufficient live (flexible) length to accommodate regular hose cycling without applying excessive fatigue to the corrugations, thus ensuring maximum longevity, reliability, and safety.

If you have an application that doesn’t fit cleanly into any of these formulas, contact our Inside Sales Department at 1-800-221-2319 for assistance in determining the proper assembly length. Certain complex installations may need special fitting modifications, welding processes, or assembly options in order for the assembly to accommodate the required movements. In these cases, our Product Engineers are happy to custom-design metal hoses and expansion joints in order to make sure the assembly will meet the demands of the toughest applications. Many customers use the Specification Sheet located on page 38 of our Corrugated Metal Hose & Assemblies Catalog  to facilitate documenting the application requirements. This form includes an area where a sketch of the installation can be drawn, which can include the installed dimensions and the required movements.

We encourage you to take advantage of the Hose Assembly Length Calculation Guide and all of the other design assistance tools we offer. Providing assemblies that last longer — through superior design, manufacturing, and fabrication — is a great way to provide unmatched value to our customers.


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